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Irvington To Discuss Waterfront Rezoning Wednesday

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Irvington is considering the creation of a new waterfront zoning district to replace the current industrial zoning district during an upcoming public hearing Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

Trustees will also consider two other “housekeeping” laws, according to Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer: one will change the zoning map to delete the industrial district and add the waterfront district. Another law will clean up the overall zoning code to replace mentions of the industrial district with the waterfront district.

“The fact that we still have an industrial district in Irvington in 2012 is unacceptable,” Mayor Brian Smith said . “The current rezoning legislation eliminates the industrial zone and provides uses that are appropriate for a thriving waterfront district. While the Board of Trustees will not be able to accomplish all of the priorities that we outlined three long years ago, we can accomplish the largest and ensure no more industrial development on the waterfront.”

Smith noted seven goals used to draft the rezoning legislation: preserving the village's historic character and scale, preserving views of the Hudson River, addressing traffic concerns, encouraging mixed-use development on South Astor St., improving access to the waterfront, improving streetscape along West Main St. and eliminating industrial zoning.

The new zoning district would allow building uses such as retail stores, hotels, restaurants, day care centers, museums, art dealers, recreation facilities, a farmers market, theaters and fitness clubs.

Special permits could be issued under the new zoning law for residential units above the first floor. The law limits the total number of all dwelling units in the waterfront district to 10 percent of the total gross floor area unless the board of trustees approves it and a traffic impact study is completed.

Retail stores larger than 5,000 square feet could also be approved by special permit if it “will be in harmony with the appropriate and orderly development of the Waterfront District and will not be detrimental to the orderly development of adjacent properties.” A traffic impact study would also have to be completed.

The law prohibits chemical plants, motor-testing laboratories and other facilities that would create offensive noises, gases and emissions. The law also prohibits restaurants that provide curbside or drive-through services.

Current businesses would be excluded from the law if it is passed.

The new zoning district would also mandate an open, landscaped area within the first 28 feet of the Hudson River and Scenic Hudson Park. Buildings would be limited to a height of 35 feet.

Smith encouraged residents to express their opinions on the proposed measure. “Please send us your thoughts on the proposed rezoning or attend the meeting on Wednesday the 18th at 7 p.m.,” he said. “It is very likely we will have at least one more public hearing on this issue.”

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